Daily Dose

Cards Against Humanity- for Branding?

Dolores Posted by Dolores Cards Against Humanity- for Branding?

We have all invested time and energy developing our branding resources to use when working with clients on their brand identity. Now Scott Thomas of Simple.Honest.Work. in Chicago has maybe come to our rescue with what he believes is the ultimate tool to make it even simpler and more effective.

With the help of Mark Temkin, one of the people behind the game “Cards Against Humanity”, Thomas has created a deck of cards with adjectives used by many of us to help clients define who they really are and are not. Each team member gets their own deck to sort through and then as a team decide what really applies to them and what definitely does not. Pretty simple.

Instead of funding the project on their own, they turned to Kickstarter.com to crowd source and have so far raised more than their goal. They are now also working on a “Not safe for the workplace” version, again with the “Cards for Humanity” people (I wouldn’t want to accidentally mix those decks up).

This venture will be interesting to follow and although I believe we will stick to our own tried and true methods, I can see these cards showing up in some branding agency boardrooms, or more likely, the “not safe” version being played every Friday afternoon in the lounge. Check it out!


The Top Ten Super Bowl Commercials of 2015

Florence Posted by Florence The Top Ten Super Bowl Commercials of 2015

In case you haven’t checked them out yet, CBC put together this article on what they’ve dubbed the top 10 commercials of this year’s Super Bowl.

Bookending the list are two emotional spots – one about dads, the other about girls. I loved them both. My husband and I held a Super Bowl party and all the guys loved the Liam Neeson/Clash of Clans commercial (one of the few to be aired on TV outside of the US, it seems). Mindy Kaling’s Nationwide spot had me laughing out loud. And don’t even get me started on the Budweiser commercial!

What are your faves from this year?

Good news: the CRTC has taken action and starting with the 2017 Super Bowl, Canadians will now see all of the same ads as Americans!

Does Controversial Advertising Sell Product?

Dave Posted by Dave Does Controversial Advertising Sell Product?

An ad for Just Liquid Soap states, “If you aren’t totally clean, you’re filthy.”

I recall fighting tooth and nail over some of the ideas my creative team would come up with in years gone by. With a sly smile, they would show me something that was way out there, something that could be argued was in the land of controversy…while others might say, in the land of bad taste.

“But it will get attention! And that is what we are all about! It will stop people in their tracks and make them pay attention."

“But it will royally screw up their brand," I would say.

Here’s one that you might remember that went viral in 24 hours and got 15 million views on YouTube in just eight days. The ad agency was tasked with dealing with Kmart’s out-of-stock issues. It’s absolutely brilliant and funny, but…


…but, it created backlash and made it onto the Today Show asking if the ad went too far. Messages to kill the ad flooded in, but Kmart’s agency followed with another brilliantly conceived, but…


…but maybe too much and off-brand, with kids sounding like they’re swearing on TV.

Kmart is a family-friendly retailer. And this campaign was counter to their brand image. It gained incredible attention, but did it sell product? Kmart’s sales fell over 2% in that quarter. The lesson learned here, I think, is that if you want to be controversial, it has to fit the brand and you have to create that edge in the shopping experience. Kmart didn’t and people who loved the ads found nothing new and exciting at Kmart. And those that hated the ads shied away from shopping there.

Here’s one that worked, but everything fits (and I received it in our office Christmas gift exchange…and (testimonial warning) it works!)…


32 million views on YouTube and a 90% increase in sales, expected to climb to $60 million. Reactions to the ad were extremely positive.

Here’s one that failed miserably and shocked everyone associated with the brand and was pulled the same day it ran…


I think you can see why. Of all things, “suicide” doesn’t sell. It can have impact, but look out!

I find that when we can fit the sentiment of the ad with the sentiment built into the brand, and we can be controversial, we can win. Otherwise, controversy can stink in advertising.

(with help from Terry O’Reilly at CBC’s “Under the Influence”)

What others had to say:

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Haley Posted by Haley

With the recent release of Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, there have been floods of people complaining about the durability of the phone. This in turn has sparked the widespread use of the term #BendGate throughout social media. KitKat, in particular, took advantage of this posted this tweet (below). With more than 23,000 retweets and 10,000 favourites, KitKat has far surpassed the record of Oreo’s ever popular, “You can still dunk in the dark” from the 2013 Superbowl.

Reminding us, yet again, how quick and clever comebacks can make light of even the worst PR nightmares.

So whether you’re a fan of Apple or not, grab a KitKat and take a #break!

What others had to say:

Hahah, thanks Wil! Those are some more great examples! My personal favourite was from Heineken NL, very relatable!

Posted by: Haley | July 9, 2015

A number of brands have jumped on the bandwagon, taking advantage of the publicity to promote themselves. Most of them have been pretty clever!


Posted by: Wil Alambre | July 9, 2015

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For Izzy (and Terry)

Morris Posted by Morris


The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is opening this week (Friday, September 19th). This is a day I’ve been greatly looking forward to for a long time.

It was a decade ago (give or take a few weeks) that we were hired to develop an identity and design advertising and marketing materials to aid in raising the capital needed to fulfill the dream of the late Izzy Asper to build this site — and the dream of his family to build it in his memory after his untimely passing in 2003. I remember getting to see conceptual illustrations of the proposed building before the general public got their first looks, and thought it was a pretty special privilege for all of us at Fusion to play a part in this undertaking at such an early stage.

I know our role in getting the museum done, in the grand scheme of things, was pretty minimal, but I do feel the life we helped breathe into the project, now that it’s completed, is a reason for us to feel proud.

And while many people reflect on the life and achievements of Mr. Asper on opening night (justly so) the opening of the museum has me also reflecting on the life and achievements of Terry Kuzina, Fusions’ founding father.

Terry led our creative team in the days that CMHR was getting going and he was so passionate about what we were working on for them. It was a point in his life where he was starting to cut back on his work week while thinking about some sort of semi retirement and talking a lot about his golf game. I always thought it was the perfect feather in his graphic design cap, him getting to put the first face on something so important for the city of Winnipeg.

And, sadly, like Izzy Asper, Terry did not live to see the completion of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. But I’m pretty sure, were he there on Friday, that he’d be thrilled. And impressed by the museums’ greatness.

Congratulations to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, our city’s newest shining star!

What others had to say:

Yes! Thank you, Morris. :)

Posted by: Leighton | October 10, 2014

Very nice Morris.

I recall those first days very clearly. Terry and I met with Kim Jasper and we told her we wanted to help...not thinking of getting paid, but "we want this to happen". Terry knew Izzy from annual report photo shoots, and while he was too busy to get to know (we usually had two 6-minute increments of his time to photoshoot him, hoping his cigarette would burn out within that timeframe). He was always nice to us and at the CoolFM launch, when Izzy played some jazz on the piano, I saw another side. A passionate side. And I got even more excited about the museum.

Terry presented a number of brand concepts for the early museum and they were all deep and very enchanting. When I tell others at the museum of these concepts, they moan at how good they sounded. One was the dark-haired woman, unable to determine her age and unable to determine her ethnic origin. She was 17, but could have 12 or could have been 30. She represented the world at that time. Wow.

One of the concepts turned into the pin that Morris is highlighting. It is a woman with wings, about to fly from away from her sadness. This was first a poster with a woman moving to stand in front of angel or butterfly wings that were graffiti painted on a wall, much like the Berlin wall. Very evocative. Didn't make the brand image, but made the first Shine pin. That pin has deeper meaning than most people know.

Yes, I wish Terry and Izzy were here to see their legacy. And I am so happy that we were able to help carry it on for them.

Posted by: Dave Wilkie | October 10, 2014

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